With others

Empathy and the connection it creates

Have you ever tried to share something personal with someone and they seemed to make you feel as though you are being ungrateful for the good things in your life? They try to point out the positive things about the situation instead of addressing the pain or hurt that you are going through? I have been there and I know how it feels.

Brené Brown has the best term to describe this. Silver-lining your situation. I have done this to others before too. Learning to connect with others is also about recognising that we are all humans and are very much capable of disconnecting with someone who is trying to create a genuine connection with us. This video is a great reminder even for those of us who are always trying to reach out, show up and create real connection with others. ❤

With others

Relatability is key to connection

I’ve learnt that relatability is key to connection. If you want to connect with someone on any level, you have to be someone they can relate to.

But there is a difference between connection and making yourself unnecessarily vulnerable or giving away too much of yourself to strangers.

For friendships and soul-bearing connections with loved ones (which is different from what I am talking about in this post), watch this conversation that Oprah had with Brene Brown. Yes, Brene Brown again! I cannot be more grateful for her work because it has transformed my life in such a positive and uplifting way. I only hope to be able to meet her one day to thank her personally. 🙂

But the relatability that I am talking about in this post is for general connections.

Especially when you are trying to reach out to someone in order to help them or change their lives.

I was following this health and lifestyle professional who seemed to be losing her followers after a while and I was one of those who did unsubscribe to her messages.

This was because her message was always revolving around her perfect success at achieving her health goals. And she did not seem to break a sweat on her journey. And there I was, stuffing my face with potato chips whenever I was overwhelmed. I felt like a failure.

What we as humans, want to see, is not someone falling flat on their face and bleeding all over. No! We want to be witness to someone’s strength in falling and rising again. It is the courage that we see in someone, that triggers the hidden lion within us to come out and atttempt to roar, especially when we are at our lowest. Perhaps all that the lion manages to do is to merely meow, but it isn’t the sound, it is the courage to open it’s mouth and attempt to change the sound waves, that is admirable.

Relatability is about honesty, truth and the strength to allow others to see their struggles in us too and to show them that we can rise above it, thus inspiring them to feel and do the same.

In the case of the health professional, perhaps all we wanted to know, was that she has had horrible cravings and that she understands what it feels like to pop in a potato chip into her mouth or to wake up one day not wanting to eat healthy. Or perhaps she has had struggles with food, be it overeating, emotionally eating or not eating properly. Perfection is not attractive because it is unrelatable to. And it is also a dangerous message to send out to others.

I think as humans, we struggle with how much is too much. How much of myself can I give away without feeling too exposed? And at the same time, how can I ensure that I am breaking down just the right side of the concrete block of protection that I have built, in order to let people see the courage that rises out of my struggles and mistakes? And how can I silently work behind the other areas of the wall that is not exposed, in order to conquer my personal challenges that might not benefit from having an audience?

That is a balance that we have to work out, and we all know that creating balances are always an ongoing lesson.

But until we try, we will never know.

Have I told you that I am a perfectionist and I struggle when I make mistakes as well? Well, now I have. And knife-fight my insecurities I do. Daily.

Well, if you would excuse me for now, I just realised that I have completely lost track of time and might be late for work if I don’t rush to get ready right away.